Coddington on Provocation

I support the partial defence going, but Deborah Coddington gives an example to argue the other way:

This is no criticism of Mrs Elliott’s stoicism, but if I heard someone stabbing one of my daughters on the other side of a locked door, I hope I would react swiftly.

Proficient with firearms, I would fire through the door lock. Finding my daughter dead inside, I would shoot and kill the bastard.

I would re-load and shoot again to make sure he was dead – probably not 216 times.

I would call the police, I’d be arrested and charged with , and I’d throw myself on the mercy of the court.

Should this crime be treated on an equivalent basis as the crime committed by Clayton Weatherston? Is it comparable as that committed by him, or other crimes committed by, say, Paul Dally (the killer of Karla Cardno) or Jules Mikus (the killer of Teresa Cormack)?

And what about when it comes to sentencing – should there be any mitigating circumstances taken into account by the judge?

My response is that firstly she could claim self defence. It is reasonable to think that having killed her daughter, he may try and kill her.

But what if he had finished the job and was walking away from the house so there is no issue of self defence.

Well yes if you do shoot him then, you would be convicted of murder, not manslaughter if provocation goes. But there already is a huge degree of range in the brutality of murders. Being found guilty of the same crime does not mean you are the same of them.

And the key thing is the circumstances could be taken into account with sentencing. A Judge can give a lesser sentence than life under s102(1) of the Sentencing Act 2002.

In the conditions Deborah describes, a Judge could give a suspended sentence (no jail time unless you reoffend) for the killing.

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